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Summer Harvest Campaign targets child hunger in southwest Missouri

A food distribution truck at Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield, MO (photo taken in November, 2023)
Michele Skalicky
A food distribution truck at Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield, MO (photo taken in November, 2023)

The campaign by Ozarks Food Harvest offers several ways to help.

A campaign underway in southwest Missouri is raising money to feed area children this summer.

The goal of Ozarks Food Harvest’s Summer Harvest campaign is to raise awareness of child hunger in the region and to provide 45,000 meals for kids.

OFH Spokesman Jordan Browning said about one in seven children in the region face hunger, and summer is an even more difficult time for them.

"The really big problem that happens during the summertime is that so many of those kids, about two out of the three kids that we serve within our network, they utilize free and reduced price school meals," said Browning. "And so what happens is, when school lets out for the summer, suddenly there's about a 90-day gap where these kids are missing out on a solid breakfast and lunch."

OFH is working to meet the need for food through its summer food program, which offers dedicated lunch sites across the food bank’s 28-county service area. OFH also increases its mobile food pantries in the summer, especially to rural areas.

The Summer Harvest campaign helps make that happen.

There are several ways to contribute. You can swim for free with the donation of a canned food item at Springfield-Greene County Park Board pools May 25th-September 2nd from 5:30 to 6:30. Taste Tickets sold Saturday, June 22, at Taste of SoMo in downtown Springfield will benefit Ozarks Food Harvest. You can get a free ticket to the Lucas Oil Speedway races in Wheatland Saturday, June 22, if you donate four nonperishable food items. Community Blood Center of the Ozarks blood donors in June can donate their LifePoints to OFH. And Bingo at 4 by 4 Brewing Company’s Fremont Hills location August 1st and 8th will benefit the food bank. You can also give online or sign up to volunteer at

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.